Monday, December 19, 2011

I Am Not A Number!!

And I'm not--and by now, you know how I am with numbers.  If I was one, I'd never be able to remember which one it was.

"Hi.  What's your name?"
"Wait.  I know the answer to that.  Um.  12.  No, 21.  No, that's not it.  Let me think.  Um.  Don't rush me on this!  Can I buy a clue?"

Luckily John Smith didn't have that problem in I Am Number Four.  Of course the threat of death might focus the mind.  Or just repeating it endlessly.  I am number 4, I am number 4, I am number 4.

I understand why it was a popular book (and an unfortunately poor movie).  John is human.  Actually not since he's Loric, but he has emotions we can relate to.

If the character shows no emotion, there are no stakes.  Drama is heightened by how much there is to gain or lose.  If James Bond is Mr Cool Cucumber, who really cares if he stops Spectre?  Yeah let's save the world but we know either way, Jimbo is going to walk away to his next smooth babe.

So John fell in love and it's forever.  Well, I like that.  But I'm not a 14 year old boy.  Why is this such a strong thread in this story?  Because girls will read this, too?  Okay.  Fine with me.  I liked the relationship between John and Sarah, well spun out, believable, realistic.  I liked the book.

It's interesting to see how these destined-to-be-popular-series-with-a-movie-deal are constructed.  I've read 3 of them and will get to Hunger Games eventually.  Just as a clue--when I say these things, it's not about my narcissism, it's a suggestion for you to research and study what's popular in your genre, I'm just describing my process.

I imagine with the problems "Pittacus Lore" aka James Frey is having with the writing situation, this series may not be a long as intended, but maybe he'll get it together.  Book 2 comes out in Aug.

Let me use that as a demonstration of the lag time in trad pub.  You have a hot hot series and you're seeing 24 months between releases.  If this was digital, how many days would between Book 1 and Book 2?

Here's a technique I've been working on in Photoshop.  How to create ripples.  Filter.  Don't look in Ripple.  Look at Zig-Zag.  Seriously.  That's where you find Pond Ripples.

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